Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ronnie Spector

Our last show of 2005 was last night in Atlanta with Ronnie Spector. We played just before she went on and after we finished I didn't go back stage because I didn't want to see her before she went on. I wanted to feel like I was at a show instead of in on a show. I found a little spot close to the side of the stage so I could watch her walk on and all that. It was strange to see her burst out onto the stage and begin singing. I don't know what I was expecting but it was really Ronnie Spector. I think I thought it would be different but it was as if we were watching a performance sliced from another era. Her voice was so strong and her range was so much more impressive than I would have been able to understand by listening to records. She sang the hits, of course, but there were some little known and completely unknown gems in there as well. I heard she has another record coming out in the future (it's been years and years since the last) and I know she's added some vocals to the upcoming Raveonettes record but I haven't heard any of these things yet.
I should have taken photos. I don't know what possessed me to leave the camera at home. ???

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Nashville Recording Artist

So these are some photos of the September/October tour. They are older but better late than never. The little girls are the dance group who performed just before us at the city festival we played in Ivan's home town. That was a lot of fun. I was surprised to see how many little kids and old folks walked up and sat down in the grass and around to watch us. I think they liked it. I know the little kids liked it because we had some dancing babies but the old folks liked it too. They didn't watch the guy after us who was playing acoustic covers (Brown Eyed Girl, etc.) and they weren't really into the earlier musical act, the "Nashville recording artist" who was playing mostly covers of country songs. But the dancers and the Rosebuds they liked. So I felt happy about that. Some people will respond to original art if they are exposed to it so more city party planners should consider getting us to play, or Portastatic, or Crooked Fingers, or, I don't know, the Strokes.
One more thing about that Nashville recording artist: if anybody, say Ivan, went to Nashville and recorded a song at a studio in the city limits, wouldn't he be considered a "Nashville recording artist"? You should have seen this band. It was embarrassing. Not the costumes: red, white, blue shirts with large stars on them, and not the hats either, oversized suede cowboy hats, but the white, stretched Lincoln Navigator limosine with a trailer attached that they were traveling in (see attached photo). I can only hope that the singer's husband was a Nashville limo driver for recording artists or something because otherwise, that was just repulsive. Probably not to other people though. I guess other people see an SUV limo and think, "Nashville recording artist!!!"

We put our Christmas tree up. It's a large, white, plastic, fiber optic, flashing monster that couldn't look any more fake and that's why we love it. When I saw it flashing and buzzing with all it's internal electrical gadgetry and plastic wonderfulness, I knew Ivan would freak out over it. This past spring I tore out all the old shrubs so that I could plant ones that bloom and are fragrant but now we only have little tiny shrubs so there isn't really a place to put outside lights. Everybody on the street has them on the fence or on small trees or shrubs but we don't have all that yet. But we bought a lot of those strings of ceramic lights--the big bulbed ones--and now we are stuck. I suggested we put some on the mailbox and Ivan suggested we put them on the big, green, city-issued trash can and wheel it out to the front. He said something like, "you know, dress it up." It has to be illegal and I guess we'll find out.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ft. Lauderdale

We are in Ft. Lauderdale tonight for the first time. Right now we are at Morgan's house (long-time good friend) and everybody is asleep except Morgan and me and we are listening to Born to Run by the boss man and an Andrea Bocelli opera. We just played our last night with Shout Out Louds and were so sad to say goodbye to them. They are just great people and the best of friends now. You know how it is when you just really click with someone. We are missing them already.
Tonight they came on stage and sang along to "Blue Bird" and we clapped and sang along to "Hurry Up Let's Go" and it felt like so much real fun. After the show, all night, I tried so hard to have fun but i just felt sad to lose them.
I'll be posting some photos from the shows soon.
Maybe I should sleep now since we have to drive to Savannah, GA tomorrow.

Friday, November 25, 2005


hi everybody. we went to a little home-style cooking restaurant in austin, tx tonight with the shout out louds and it was a lot of fun. most of them were very interested in the traditional thanksgiving dinner and when they ordered, they consulted us on the quality and authenticity of the sides. Ted said he liked the fried okra but i think he was just being nice because i told him it was my favorite. mostly the turkey with stuffing was the jam. so, after the dinner we went to play pool and foosball and get to know each other better. "Cheers" in Swedish is "skol" like "skull" but i think i'm spelling it wrong. it also has an "a" with the circle over it. After a long night of hanging out and being secretly sad about just general thanksgiving stuff, i decided the best thing to do would be to throw myself into the Swedish culture and so Ted and Carl taught me to toast properly (the Swedish way) by looking each member of the party in the eye while saying SKOL and then drinking and then making eye contact again. Also, if there are more than two people in the party, each should be aware of the arm with which they "cheers" each other so that if they are sitting side-by-side, for example, they should click left hand to right hand so that they create a circle-like shape with their bodies and arms, signifying closeness. If there are three people or more, it doesn't matter but if one-on-one, we must sit next to each other, face each other, click our outer-handed glasses and make eye contact when we say "cheers" and again after we take the sip.
Much better now.
There's a show tomorrow so i should get some sleep. happy thanksgiving everybody. i hope your uncles didn't go on and on about how great they are and i hope your mamas were nice to your girlfriends/boyfrineds. it's hard on everybody so remember that we all have our hang-ups and that we are all human--even the weird family members who don't always seem to present that "human" side first.
everyone's just as strong and/or hurt on the inside. but remember, you are not to tolerate any kind of abuse, not today or ever, from anyone. even family. if they're mean to you, you are not obligated to stay. you have your life to live (really live!) even if they are going the other way.
especially if they are going the other way.
my little 5-year-0ld niece did call this morning to say happy thanksgiving so i do have her and her wonderful, fearless little girlness to be thankful for.
happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

portland and nesting

so, this was our room at the jupiter hotel in portland. i liked it a lot. boutique hotel. i think we could get this same room with one car-load trip to ikea. i think about ikea a lot when i'm on the road. i think about all the things i could get to decorate the house and make it look as cute as the ones in the catalogue. this is what happens to girls when they are put in a van on a rock and roll tour for a month. they start nesting, from satellite locations.

more photos

troubador photos

so, if anybody has show photos, please feel free to add them.

More Tour!

Okay, this tour is going great! The Shout Out Louds and The Sun are both great bands, and sweethearts too. And The West Coast was of the hook! Pamona CA and San Francisco were our favorites, with Seattle in there too. The KEXP show at the Triple door should be archived soon. So check out their website for more info. Hey thanks to everyone who is coming out to see us and saying hey. That means a lot when we get to meet you guys at the shows. Saw a break dancing show with the one and only Biz Marke DJing after our show in Seattle. He left a little to be desired as a DJ, but he is American Pop culture at it's finest. Don't forget to go to for more goodies. We will be spending Thanksgiving in Austin Texas this year. Oh well, it is a holiday based on a fake premise anyway and if it was not for getting to spend time with people we care about we would not celebrate it at all. The songs "Come Back" from the Shout Out Louds, and "Justice" from The Sun are incredible and you need to hear them. Well I better go now. We have a long drive to Austin tomorrow. Till then...


Friday, November 11, 2005


So we are on tour now in a hotel room in Billings Montana. One show so far at the Varsity Theater last night in Minneapolis. The Shout Out Louds and The Sun are both great. A beautiful sold out show! Tons of info and all kinds of stuff coming to this blog as soon as we figure how to post everything. Until then, here is a picture of the pirana from the aquarium in Minneapolis MN!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rosebuds Manifesto 2005

Rosebuds Manifesto 2005

Birds make good neighbors because they are survivors and we have a lot to learn from their example. At the top of spring we had a cardinal couple making a nest on our porch and we were so proud. We bought seed, we took photos, and we watched their progress with excitement and pride. This agitated them and so we started only watching from inside but they caught a glimpse of me at the window twice and, before I was fully aware of what happened, they were gone. They moved out and abandoned the nest they were building. I didn’t intend harm but their concern was rooted in the centuries of information I didn’t have. They chose survival.

Americans, especially the ones afraid or too proud to take responsibility for poor choices that led to any level suffering, love to talk about the tradition of the sacrifice of the few for the benefit of many—the few usually being military folks but I’d also like to recognize for this discussion the inadequately-protected and provided for immigrant community, the non-subsidized artists, the struggling working class and those who inhabit the muck underneath the workers—the undergrounders. It is our position, however, that (as has played out time and time again in our culture) blind allegiance is not patriotism. Not today, but not ever either. The true failure is in not being nimble enough, flexible enough, to admit failure and to accept change.

A lot of the lyrics in Birds Make Good Neighbors deal with choices, in general and/or in specific ways, in the small and familiar lives we live and in the more archetypal, historical accounts of the people who established the first colony in America which was to be the great “Cittie of Ralegh,” modeled on London, but, as it happened through poor choices, they became the group officially known as The Lost Colony. And when I say “archetypal” here, I am referring to that which would become a pattern of failure. Yes there were other bad choices made by others before the Lost Colony--we all know about Columbus and the Spanish policy of rape, murder, and decimation of the Native North and South Americans. For gold or land or power, which, in retrospect, never really equaled amazing prosperity for Spain. That’s a huge story to wrap one’s mind around. Trying to write about it would be like trying to write about any specific war—too enormous. It seems more natural and appropriate to write about the story of regular people like us coming to a new country and how it was for them—full of ideas, hope, contrariness, and, for the casualties, a deadly inability to admit failure or to accept that change may enable survival.

The Lost Colony was a mix of young and old, little kids, newlyweds, pregnant women, business men, teachers, experienced seamen, all of it--the people who came in 1587, even before the Mayflower and the Puritans came to North Carolina, set up a colony and then completely disappeared. They ruined relations with the natives right away, and were either killed by those Indians, or were taken in by a different Indian tribe, offered protection and a new life—not as an English man or woman in an Indian village, but the complete life of an Indian. The first scenario is easy to believe—the colony of 107 people could have easily been slaughtered. But the idea that these regular English people would choose to go live as Indians with the Croatan tribe (which later became the great Lumbee Indian tribe of NC) fascinates me. It’s the admission that they were wrong to have offended their hosts, and that they will no longer live the life they have lived and will no longer dream about establishing the London of the new world, but will essentially become Indian for survival. There has been no conclusive evidence to reveal which scenario actually happened but there is evidence that both could have happened and it is my opinion that both did happen. Perhaps a split occurred—the old thinkers decided to march up the coast through hostile territory to establish their city and were slaughtered, and the flexible survivalists admitted failure, and were taken in by the Croatans. Either way, their governor, John White, whom they sent back to England to get supplies, food, and backup was delayed because of the impending war with Spain and so, instead of returning in three months, he returned three years later to find the colony empty. No bodies, no sign of life either—just one word carved into a post: “CROATOAN.”

This story fascinated us so much as children growing up in and around the Outer Banks of North Carolina that it’s always been strongly planted in our minds, informing our awareness of the world around us, giving us the cultural context within which other knowledge of risk, failure, and survival would be placed and with which it would be compared. The main lesson has always been that our poor choices and the poor choices of others mean we have to struggle.

No, old folks, today is not like the old days at all, and today’s children you are afraid for (and of) are different from the children of your day, but they are survivors. Do they resemble barbarians? I say that’s good training for how they will live tomorrow. They don’t care about manners? Have you read their poetry? They care about survival. And love. And that is why we sing proudly about both.